How to preview files in Dropbox

A file preview allows you to view, comment on, and share files without downloading them. However, you can’t edit a file from a preview. 

To preview a file on your computer or phone, simply click (or tap) the name of a file. On the upper right-hand side, you can click:

  • Comments to view comments
  • Activity to view who last opened or edited your file
  • About to view file size, type, and when it was last modified

Not using Dropbox yet? See how Dropbox helps you effortlessly share files and folders.

Why can’t I preview my file? 

If you’re having trouble previewing a file, it may not be a supported file type with Dropbox, or it might be too big to be previewed. See a full list of supported file types and size limits. 

If that’s not the issue, you can check this article for common error messages and fixes. 

  1. If a preview doesn’t load, or doesn’t load correctly, you can always open the file by downloading it: 1. Click Download or(ellipsis) or in the upper right corner. If you’ve downloaded the file before, you’ll see the Open with (or Open) button.
    • If you clicked (ellipsis), click Download
    • If you clicked Download, click Direct download
    • You can also click Add to Dropbox to add the file to your Dropbox account

Why am I only seeing the first page of my file? 

If you’re trying to preview one of the following file types, you’ll only be able to preview the first page or frame of your file. You’ll be able to see the rest of the pages if you download and open the file. 

  • .numbers
  • .pages
  • .key
  • .keynote
  • .gif

Why is the date uploaded on my file more recent than the date modified?

Dropbox preserves the date your file was modified when you upload it through the Dropbox desktop app. For example, this can happen if you last modified a file 3 months ago but uploaded it yesterday. 

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